Day 75

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - FSU Sampling Cruise - June 22, 2010 by SkyTruth.

Oil has been gushing from the sea floor into the Gulf of Mexico for seventy-five days now. That’s 75 days too long.

Last time I wrote about the spill, tarballs had just started washing ashore on Florida’s panhandle. Since then, the oil slick has spread farther east and Hurricane Alex, which made landfall on the Texas-Mexico border, has hampered clean-up efforts. President Barack Obama has addressed the nation and BP CEO Tony Hayward has gone yachting.

So what has changed in the Gulf? From the looks of it, not too much. The BP Gulf Oil Spill is now the largest accidental oil spill in history. According to a recent ABC World News Tonight broadcast, the oil slicking across the water’s surface now covers an area roughly the size of Tennessee. Tennessee!

Does TN look like a small state to you?

The media isn’t covering the spill with the same sense of urgency it was a couple weeks ago. Maybe the story’s gotten a bit stale for reporters and audiences alike. (Same goes for the Haiti earthquake- do you think Port Au Prince has been rebuilt?) It doesn’t help that there’s been no real signs of progress, and most citizens can’t do much to help. To make matters worse, there have been reports that the media has been restricted access to the site of the spill.

This by no means makes the Gulf oil spill any less important. We need to keep in mind what is happening in the Gulf. There is so much suffering. Consider this a reminder:

Death of Grass by kk+.

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Even though I haven’t been directly impacted by the spill, I still think it’s important for us to stay aware of the situation. Right now is a good time to reflect, not just because it’s another unfortunate milestone for the spill, but because it’s the Fourth of July weekend. The holiday is usually a time for touristy Gulf towns to flourish, but now many are deserted, even if the oil hasn’t hit some of their shores yet.
The relief well meant to stop the leak won’t be completed until mid-August, so hopefully then the real progress begins. In the meanwhile, I hope the oil spill will at least show Americans how dangerous our oil addiction is. Could this be the beginning of real change in our mindsets? If it is, at least something good can came out of this disaster.
~ Sarah

A Taste of Americana

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Nothing says summer like ice cream. And as good as regular soft-serve is, sometimes you need something a little more authentic. That’s why I’m glad I live near a place like Jaxson’s. It’s a local ice cream parlor that opened back in 1956. I don’t go very often, but it’s always awesome when I do. There’s always a line to get in, even just to get ice cream to go. The restaurant is decorated with kitschy decorations and vintage license plates.

Inside Jaxson's
Really cool ceiling.

Last night, a group of my friends and I went to Jaxson’s. We had an absolutely great time, laughing and catching up. And eating. The food is all sorts of fabulous. It’s served in generous, greasy portions. Jaxson’s takes classic American dishes and makes them that much better. Plus, since you’re enjoying your meal in a carnival-like atmosphere, there’s no reason you wouldn’t enjoy yourself.

Fries
Chicken Ceasar Wrap

And did I mention the ice cream?!? That’s practically the reason Jaxson’s exists. There’s way too many flavors to choose from- I took my sweet time making sure I picked the perfect flavor. I choose vanilla cherry, topped with caramel and whipped cream. The whipped cream was unreal, and the sundae as a whole was just delicious.

Heaven on Earth

Here are some other snapshots of our evening:

At a time when people seem to be yearning for simpler times, lots of places sell “nostalgic” experiences. Jaxson’s is the real deal though. It reminds me of an America I didn’t have a chance to see, a relic of our past. (And those old license plates make me want to road trip on Route 66.) Old-school experiences should be appreciated, because they don’t make them like this anymore.

Do you know places like this back home? What’s your favorite thing about them?

I hope all my American readers enjoy their holiday weekend!

~ Sarah

Wanted: Wade

Miami Heat Shooting Guard, Dwyane Wade

We’re less than half an hour  away from the start of 2010 Free Agency. Besides the World Cup, NBA free agency is the summer’s biggest story. Many sportswriters and commentators have labelled this the “Summer of LeBron”. And while the #1 free agent up for grabs is undoubtedly LeBron James, the Miami Heat’s first priority is signing their franchise player, 2006 Finals MVP Dwyane Wade. The organization and the fans are doing everything in their power to convince Wade to stay. The Miami Heat are hosting a We Want Wade Week and Miami-Dade county has officially (and temporarily) changed its name to Wade County.

Like I’ve mentioned previously, the Miami Heat have launched a massive campaign, We Want Wade, in an effort to convince Wade to re-sign. There have been viewing parties, fan giveways, etc. and fans are being encouraged to submit videos telling Wade why he should stay in Miami. So without further ado, here’s my We Want Wade video.

*Please excuse my awkwardness in not looking straight at the camera. And yes, I know I sound like a twelve year-old.

Gratuitous Picture of D-Wade. HOT.

Are any basketball fans as excited and anxious as I am to see where all these free agents land?!? Is it July 8th yet?!?

~ Sarah

P.S. I’ll be updating this post with my We Want Wade video on Thursday!